His Excellency Deputy President William Ruto attended the National Bible Translation Forum held at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on September 18th 2018.
The forum which was attended by several church leaders from across all denominations aimed at sensitizing the Church leaders on the Bible Translation needs for indigenous languages across Kenya, the costs involved and their role is supporting the projects.
Speaking during the meeting which was organized by Bible Society of Kenya (BSK) and Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL), the Deputy President stated that the Bible, in local dialect, has a deeper, special meaning hence the importance of translation work to enable communities to gain a profound understanding of the gospel.
‘The word of God written in a local language has more meaning. That is why translating the Bible into local indigenous languages allows the reader to get a better understanding of God and preserve their language as well.’ He asserted.
The Deputy president urged all church leaders to partner with the translation bodies and support Bible translation work in availing the Bible to minority communities in Kenya that are yet to have the Bible in their own languages.
Normally it costs approximately Kshs.1000 to translate a verse of the Bible and an average of 12 years to translate a full Bible due to complex stages in place that are aimed at ensuring that highest quality standards.
Kenya has about 60 languages that are actively spoken. So far, Bible society of Kenya has translated the full Bible for 21 large community groups. 15 other community groups only have the New Testament translated into their local language.
On the other hand, Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL), has translated only 2 Bibles for smaller language groups (Giriama and Sabaot).
Bible translation work in Kenya is traced to Dr. Ludwig Krapf who translated the New Testament into Kimvita Swahili and later to the Gospel of St. Luke in Kikamba and Kiduruma in the mid-19th Century.
As part of their strategic objective and vision, Bible Society of Kenya has lined up a number of translation projects to cater for various local communities to ensure preservation of indigenous local languages. The society envisions Christianity penetration in the next 10 years and is ensuring every Christian owns a Bible, is able to read and understand the Bible through its Bible Literacy program.
The Deputy President has committed to support BSK and BTL to in completing translation of the remaining languages by the year 2030.